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‘Sidhu a Cricketer, I'm a Soldier': Amarinder Singh on Minister’s Pulwama Remark

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said Sidhu 'must have realised that he had gone overboard with his Pakistan visit'.


Updated:February 19, 2019, 8:40 AM IST
‘Sidhu a Cricketer, I'm a Soldier': Amarinder Singh on Minister’s Pulwama Remark
File photo of Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. (PTI)

Chandigarh: Coming to the defence of Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu -- who found himself in the eye of the storm after his remarks on the Pulwama terror attack -- Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said everyone has the right to speak their mind and it is up to Sidhu to explain his stand.

Amarinder said that Sidhu "must have realised that he had gone overboard with his Pakistan visit".

"Sidhu was a cricketer while I was a soldier, and both have different viewpoints on things," Amarinder was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.

"Sidhu does not understand the defence intricacies and had possibly reacted out of friendly motive," the chief minister said, adding that the minister's "intentions were surely not anti-national and he must have got the message".

Sidhu had drawn flak with his comment that a nation cannot be held responsible for the acts of terrorists, which was seen to support Pakistan and its Prime Minister Imran Khan (a former cricket legend) despite New Delhi's strong resolve to work for Pakistan's isolation post the Pulwama attack.

On Monday, Sidhu lashed out at the critics for branding him "anti-national" over his stand on Pulwama attack and said that these people should tell who had handed Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar to Pakistan in 1999.

"Those who are branding me as anti-national should tell the people as to who had handed him (Azhar) over to Pakistan. What they (BJP) had been doing all these years to get at him," he asked.

Sidhu was referring to the Kandahar hijacking episode of 1999 when the Jaish founder was released by Vajpayee-led NDA government in exchange for passengers of the Indian Airlines IC-814 that was hijacked and flown to Kandahar.

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